A University of Victoria student who was arrested on five counts of sexual assault will not face criminal charges after Crown Counsel decided not to approve them on Thursday, April 7.
The Crown’s decision cited a lack of sufficient evidence and no substantial likelihood of conviction. The student was originally slated to appear in court Thursday, but no court appearance took place.
Four women, all UVic students, came forward to Saanich Police in February alleging that the student, whom they all knew well, had assaulted them early in the fall semester. Saanich Police recommended charging the student with five counts of sexual assault, and the university banned the student from campus.
But with the Crown unable to find sufficient evidence that could lead to a conviction, the case likely won’t continue.
UVSS Director of External Relations Kenya Rogers called the decision “outraging.”
“I think it goes to show the justice system is so broken when it comes to centring survivors,” said Rogers.
Rogers also spoke to the difficulty that many survivors have in feeling confident enough to report their crimes.
“We’re trying to make spaces for survivors [at UVic], but when survivors feel like, ‘what’s the point?’ then it makes things really difficult.”
The university would not comment on the Crown’s decision, and said the student’s ban from the UVic campus would need to be considered in light of the dropped charges.
Update April 8, 10:47 p.m.: We’ve clarified the wording on the university’s comment to reflect that the student’s ban from campus will remain in place for the time being.